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ASU Football: Unlikely heros emerge on offense in victory over Cal Poly

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Tim White and Kody Kohl stepped up when the Sun Devils needed it most.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

An unfamiliar sound was heard throughout Sun Devil Stadium Saturday night.


For the first time in the Todd Graham era, the Sun Devils struggled against an FCS foe. Cal Poly and Arizona State were tied after three quarters as the Sun Devil offense struggled to put points on the scoreboard against a lower division team.

Twice ASU had the football inside the Cal Poly 10-yard line inside the second half and both times the Sun Devils emerged with no points. ASU's first three drives of the second half resulted in an interception, a punt and a missed field goal.

The Sun Devils needed a spark in the second half. And they found it from two unlikely sources: Redshirt junior tight end Kody Kohl and redshirt junior wide receiver Tim White.

"Kody is a guy who has tremendous potential and has the ability to help us," Graham said. "He made a heck of a catch on one heck of a throw on that second to last touchdown."

Heck of a catch might be an understatement. The Sun Devils were facing a third down and six from the Cal Poly 10-yard line, ASU had come up empty on two previous trip inside the red zone.

This time, the Sun Devils were able to punch it in, as Bercovici found Kohl in the corner of the end zone with a defensive back draped on his back. Kohl caught three passes for 40 yards and that touchdown against the Mustangs. The Gilbert, Ariz., native has two touchdown receptions in as many games this season.

If Kohl's touchdown put Cal Poly in the ground, White put the nail in the coffin.

Following a Mustang punt, the Sun Devils received the ball at their own 14-yard line with 4:07 left in the game, leading by seven. On the second play of the drive, Bercovici found White for a 19-yard pitch and catch for a first down. On the next play, White broke off a 59-yard run to the Cal Poly four-yard line.

White capped the drive off with a four-yard touchdown reception on second and goal to put ASU up 35-21 with 1:59 left.

"I love Tim," Graham said. "What a great kid. He has a great spirit."

White had turned heads at the start of fall camp, but he has been slowed by a hand injury for the last few weeks and did not play against Texas A&M.

He finished with 82 yards of offense, all of which came on that final scoring drive. Oh, and he also returned punts in the second half after 'Gump' left with an injury and Jacom Brimhall muffed two returns.

"Gump hurts his hamstring and he is our punt returner, and then Brimhall was kind of struggling and little bit nervous I think, and we just put Tim back there and he acts like it's nothing," Graham said. "How he has responded (given) he had hurt hand. He has just been incredible and he's going to be a great player for us and a dynamic guy."

It wasn't as if the usual suspects took the night off. Sophomore running back Demario Richard carried the ball 25 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns. D.J. Foster carried the ball 12 times for 76 yards while also catching six passes and Bercovici threw for 283 yards and three touchdowns.

However, when it was needed most, it was White and Kohl who made the plays to propel ASU to a victory.